If the typical spring break destinations don’t strike your fancy, one unusual option may be April in Ukraine.
UK-based travel company Political Tours is offering a “Ukraine’s Revolution” tour next month, calling it “an amazing opportunity” to see the dynamics inside the country after the overthrow of its president and Russia’s takeover of Crimea.
“We’re a bridge for providing people with greater insight into the news,” said Nicholas Wood, director and owner of Political Tours.
“You want to get a nuanced and complex understanding of the situation, and there’s nothing like being able to see it firsthand.”
Six people, including two Americans, have signed up for the eight-day tour so far. The trip begins in Kiev, where travelers will get to talk with government officials and protesters who took part in last month’s deadly clashes. The unrest led to President Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the country.
The itinerary also includes a stop in Kharkiv or Donetsk — cities in the eastern part of Ukraine where pro-Russia supporters have been out in force — to get a feel for the other side’s perspective. The trip costs about $5,300.
Wood said he didn’t have any problems booking hotels or flights in the region, noting that life carries on as normal in Ukraine.
The U.S. government has a different view, urging Americans to postpone any non-essential trips to the country and all travel to its eastern regions and the Crimean Peninsula.
“The situation in Ukraine is unpredictable and could change quickly,” the State Department says in its travel warning, noting the potential for violence between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian groups.
Americans should keep away from the downtown areas of Kiev near Independence Square, the government further warns. They should also be aware that air travel and ground transportation could be disrupted with little notice.